Packaging can be minimized while maintaining functionality and user convenience by reducing overpackaging (3). Overpackaging includes unnecessary headspace, overly large packaging, and avoidable components, such as caps. In addition to cutting costs and waste, reducing overpackaging is popular with consumers as many people prefer smaller packages and get frustrated when plastic packaging seems unnecessarily wasteful.
Note: High in this instance implies the solution is highly applicable to the plastic type. Medium indicates potential to apply this solution to the relevant plastic type in some cases. Low implies major barriers and, generally speaking, this solution cannot be used in conjunction with the plastic type.
Many examples of successful reuse programs for plastic packaging are currently from outside the U.S. However, more U.S. case studies are emerging and will be included in the future. The following are used for general information and illustrative purposes and do not reflect a preference of or an endorsement by The Recycling Partnership or our affiliates or vendors.
(1) Ellen MacArthur Foundation: Upstream Innovation. A guide to packaging solutions. (Link)
(2) Consumer Goods Forum (2021). The Golden Design rules. (confidential document)
(3) Packaging Europe: Reduction of material usage – a different path to the same goal. (Link)
(4) Packaging Fed. (Link)
(5) WRAP (2009). Efficient use of resources in breakfast cereal design packaging. (Link)